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Bapu’s Rama is more human than God

In Srirama Rajyam director Bapu shows the human frailties of Rama the king as opposed to Rama the God. Bound by the dharma of the time, Rama the king, banishes Sita to the forests. Lord Rama was and continues to be revered because of his steadfast pursuit of dharma. In the movie he in fact says that “he is a slave to dharma.” That was the cornerstone of him attaining Godly status. But on the way to attaining that status of God, Rama endured sufferings that were unheard of in his age and time.

Presiding over a kingdom of happy subjects where (as his spy Bhadra says) only jails and hospitals were empty, Rama’s marital life was marked by long stretches of grief due to separation from his pious and devout wife Sita. Such was the irony of Rama’s life. He was banished to the forests as he was about to be crowned. And when eventually crowned, he banishes his wife to the forests. So much so Rama detests the power of the throne and even begs his brothers to spare him the responsibilities of being the ruler of Ayodhya. Joy for him was accompanying Sita to the forests. Even there the dharma prevails. She still had to go to the forest. Only, he wanted to go with her. While slaying the demon king Ravana, he was God. In the slaying of his inner demons though Rama shows he is as human as the next. Balakrishna showed this side with amazing maturity and understanding. He was repentance personified.

ANR as Valmiki oozed wisdom that was synonymous with the sages of yore. But the unseen (though not unheard) hero of Srirama Rajyam was Ilayaraja. His background composition was on par with Hans Zimmerman, and Jerry Goldsmith. There was grandeur in that score. But when the curtain falls you know in your heart that the actor who walked away with the honours was Nayantara. As Sita, she gave her best performance, in what she claims might be her last movie. When Sita leaves him, Rama has no second thoughts in relinquishing his kingdom and his human form. As Vishnu he joins her in Vaikuntam. Happiness, Bapu’s Rama proves is in the pursuit of dharma. That is the only “ayanam” or path that he chose as a human being. It was that surrender to Dharma that turned a human being into God.

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